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USA-ARMSTRONG-LAWSUIT:Lance Armstrong sued over $12 mln in Tour de France prize money
REUTERS - Disgraced cyclist Lance Armstrong on Thursday was sued by a company that paid him about $12 million in prize money in connection with three of the seven Tour de France titles that have since been stripped from him for his use of banned drugs.
SCA Promotions Inc, in a suit filed in Texas state court in Dallas, alleges Armstrong and his management company, Tailwind Sports, defrauded SCA into paying Armstrong $12.1 million in prize money for his 2002, 2003 and 2004 Tour de France wins by lying about Armstrong's use of performance-enhancing drugs during those events.
Last month, Armstrong ended years of vehement denial and admitted in a televised interview with Oprah Winfrey that he had cheated his way to a record seven Tour de France titles through the use of banned, performance-enhancing drugs.
Armstrong has been banned from cycling for life and stripped of race wins, including all of his Tour de France victories.
"Lance Armstrong cheated to win all of his Tour de France victories," SCA Chief Executive Officer Robert Hamman said in a statement. "He has admitted as much on national TV."
"As a result of Lance Armstrong's unjustly achieved victories and related activities, SCA paid $12,120,000 to Tailwind Sports Inc," Hamman said. "SCA also suffered reputational damage and substantial loss of business."
An attorney for Armstrong could not immediately be reached for comment.
Armstrong already has other legal problems.
He faces a civil whistleblower lawsuit filed by former teammate Floyd Landis accusing Armstrong of fraud. The U.S. Justice Department has not said whether it intends to join the suit.
Also, last month two California men sued Armstrong and his book publishers for fraud and false advertising, claiming his best-selling memoirs, billed as non-fiction, were revealed to be filled with lies after his confession to systematic doping.
(Writing by Dan Burns; Editing by Dale Hudson)
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